Brazilian Pepper Tree Control

Quick Information
Brazilian Pepper Tree Control

Brazilian Pepper Tree Control

Most Effective Products

Triclopyr 4 Brush Killer
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $29.99
Super Marking Dye- Blue
As low as $22.00
Methylated Seed Oil (MSO)
As low as $79.87
Keith's Pro Tips

"Due to their invasive nature, controlling the Brazilian Pepper Tree can be a frustrating job to pull off. Even when treating the weed properly, some Brazilian Pepper can still be likely to re-sprout and new seedlings may appear. It’s important to be vigilant in regards to this plant and monitor your land even after the Brazilian Pepper Tree has been eliminated to make sure it doesn’t come back."

Brazilian Pepper Tree Control: How To Get Rid of Brazilian Pepper Tree

The Brazilian Pepper Tree is an aggressive, invasive tree that has grown in prominence in recent years due to it's spread across the Southern US. The tree was introduced in Florida as an ornamental and has since spread beyond the state into Texas and even as far as California. Brazilian Pepper Trees invade both aquatic and terrestrial habitats, choking out native plants.

The Brazilian Pepper tree was originally brought into the United States in the mid-1800s but is native to South America, particularly in the countries of Brazil and Paraguay. A notable feature of the tree is its tendency to be irritable to the skin. It is part of the same family that poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are classified in. It is also known to cause breathing problems for others due to its peppery scent which is heightened during the blooming period.

If a Brazilian pepper tree has grown on your landscape, this guide can help. Read on to learn more about this tree and how to to get rid of the Brazilian Pepper Tree effectively using our professional quality herbicide products.


Brazilian pepper tree up close

Proper identification of a Brazilian Pepper Tree is very important because it can often be mistaken for the Holly Tree, which is a native tree. The way you can determine if the plant you see is a Brazilian pepper Tree is to look at the leaf structure. The leaves are alternately arranged on the stem and each leaf is made up of smaller leaflets that are of an odd number, usually seven to nine. A native Holly tree will just have a simple singular leaf.

The leaves of a Brazilian pepper also have a reddish color and most importantly when you crush the leaves you are going to get a smell similar to turpentine. The fruits of the Brazilian pepper tree will be in clusters. They will be glossy and green and juicy at first but eventually, they become a bright red once ripened. The holly Tree also has red berries so these trees can often be confused for one another.

Use our description and image above to help you to identify the Brazilian pepper tree on your landscape. If you are having trouble identifying the tree, contact us and we will properly ID the plant for you as well and offer herbicide product recommendations for control.


Brazilian Pepper Tree

Where to Inspect

Observe the Brazilian pepper tree closely prior to treatment and determine its level of maturity. The Brazilian Pepper tree can vary from being a small shrub to a large tree which can grow to over 30 feet in height and can live for over 30 years. Their leaves are reddish and they have white flower clusters. Flowering of this plant occurs from September to November and usual mature by December.

What To Look For

A tree with bright red berries and brilliant green foliage. The plant also has a distinct peppery smell when a leaf or branch is broken.


Please be sure that when handling any type of herbicide, you are properly protecting your skin and eyes with safety equipment (goggles, gloves and long-sleeved clothing)

To kill the Brazilian Pepper tree, you either need to chemically treat the tree stem (which has to be done by cutting the tree down to a stump) or spraying the leaves. Our recommendation is any product containing the active ingredient of triclopyr such as Triclopyr 4 Brush Killer (Garlon 4). We also recommend using marking dye to mark plants that have been sprayed.

Step 1: Cut Down Tree To A Stump

Cut tree stump

Cut the tree down to the stump as low as you can possibly get it. The best way to do this is by using a saw so that you can cut the trunk as close to the ground as possible and then within 5 minutes of making that cut, you need to apply a herbicide that contains the active ingredient of triclopyr.

The best time to cut the Brazilian pepper tree is when they are not fruiting because seeds contained in the fruits have the capability of producing new Brazilian Pepper Trees. If Brazilian Pepper Trees that have fruits attached are cut, care should be used to dispose of them so as not to spread the fruit to locations where they could cause future problems. Fruiting Brazilian Pepper Trees can be controlled using a basal bark herbicide application.

Step 2: Apply Triclopyr 4

Spraying the Brazilian Pepper Tree

Triclopyr 4 is a triclopyr based herbicide and works systemically down to the root of the tree to halt growth.

When spraying a large volume of stumps, mix Triclopyr (preferably with a marking dye) into a sprayer at a rate of 20 to 30 gallons of Triclopyr in enough Methylated Seed Oil to make 100 gallons of spray solution. For a single tree, use a hand-pump sprayer or backpack sprayer to mix 13 oz. of Triclopyr 4 in 115 oz. of MSO to make a 1-gallon spray solution. Apply it as carefully as possible to the thin layer of living tissue called the cambium which is just inside the bark of the stump. The treated area should be thoroughly wet, but do not apply to the point of runoff.

Alternatively, you can spray the foliage without needing to cut down the tree. Simply apply the Triclopyr directly to the foliage or leaves of the trees. The results of this foliar application will be a wilting of the leaves. The herbicide will be moved throughout the parts of the tree thus effectively controlling the Brazilian Pepper Tree.


Backpack Sprayer

The Brazilian pepper tree is likely to regrow so you'll need to go over your land regularly with Triclopyr 4 for at least six months after elimination to locate and treat unwanted Brazilian pepper tree seedlings and plants that are missed or only partially damaged by the initial spray treatment.

Key Takeaways

  • Brazilian Pepper Trees are a beautiful yet invasive tree known for the tendency of their leaves to be irritable to the skin.
  • Our top recommendation to treat Brazilian pepper trees is a post-emergent treatment of Triclopyr either via cut stump treatment or applying it to the foliage.
  • Due to the likelihood of the plant regrowing, regular monitoring and reapplication may be necessary for at least 6 months after the removal of the tree.
Questions and Answers
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  1. Size:
    Triclopyr 4ec Herbicide
    $29.99 - $149.55
  2. Size:
    Super Marking Dye- Blue
    $22.00 - $50.17
  3. Size:
    Solutions Sprayer - 1 Gallon Poly
    $36.99 - $36.99
  4. Size:
    Alligare MSO 1 Modified Seed Oil
    $79.87 - $687.27
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